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EIU Master of Arts in History

Degree Requirements for M.A. in History

Click here for degree requirements for the Online Teacher Option
  1. General
  2. Thesis Track
  3. Non-Thesis Track
  4. Study Plan & Bibliography
  5. Examinations

I. General

NOTE: Degree requirements include those below and those outlined for the master's degree by the Graduate School.

History M.A. students, in consultation with the graduate coordinator, normally choose their concentration and their minor field in the first semester of course work. The minor field must be geographically distinct from the major field. These fields are United States, Modern World (since 1700), and Premodern World History (to 1700). All students take Historiography (HIS 5000). Students also must complete a proseminar for each of their two fields: Promseminar in American History (HIS 5800), Proseminar in Modern History (HIS 5820), or Proseminar in Premodern History (HIS 5810).

By the end of their first semester, students also should select a faculty mentor whose research specialty reflects the student's main area of scholarly focus. The faculty mentor helps the student select an appropriate course of study, serves as the major professor of the written and oral examinations, and, if applicable, directs the student's M.A. thesis project.

Finally, all students must pass both a comprehensive written examination within their major area of concentration and a final oral examination covering all aspects of graduate course work.

II. Thesis Track

The M.A. with thesis involves 30 semester hours, up to six of which may be completed as HIS 5950 (thesis credit). Students on the thesis track work closely with their intended thesis advisor to prepare a thesis proposal, submitted normally in the second semester of course work.

The proposal must outline an original research project, the methodology to be employed, and must include a substantial bibliography of relevant primary and secondary sources. The proposal must be approved by the Graduate Studies Committee before a student is permitted to enroll in HIS 5950.

Once approved, students writing a thesis should obtain a Thesis Manual from the Graduate School. The thesis must conform to the rules and mechanics of the most recent edition of Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers. The thesis director and two other readers with professional knowledge in the topic area (one of whom may be outside the history department) must approve the completed work. The thesis director and at least one of the final readers shall also sit on the individual's oral examination committee. Students should also consult the History Department’s Citation Guide, which constitutes the “house style” for the department.

HISTORY (M.A. with thesis)

Approved History courses numbered 4750 or above* . . . . . . . . 15 s.h.
HIS 5000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 s.h.
HIS 5950 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 s.h.

Two of HIS 5800, HIS 5810, or HIS 5820…………………….6 s.h.
TOTAL. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 s.h.

Students complete at least 18 semester hours (including HIS 5950) in their major field of concentration (US, Modern World, or Premodern World) including the corresponding proseminar (HIS 5800, HIS 5810, or HIS 5820), and 9 semester hours in one of the other fields including the corresponding proseminar (HIS 5800, HIS 5810, or HIS 5820).


*No more than 10 semester hours in courses numbered 4750-4999 may be applied to the degree. If a student can demonstrate that graduate courses in other disciplines are necessary to his or her goals, the coordinator may approve a limited number of hours outside of history.

Recent theses include:

Monica Burney, “The Meaning of Women’s Work: Refugees, Statelessness, Nationality, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom” (2018)

Moses Allor Awinsong, “The Power of the Periphery: Aid, Mutuality, and Cold War U.S.-Ghana Relations, 1957-1966” (2018)

Daniel Alexander Hays, “’A Babe in the Woods?’: Billy Graham, Anticommunism, and Vietnam” (2017)

Michael Bradley, “Incarcerated, Transported and Bound: Constructing Community Among Transported Convicts from Britain to the Chesapeake, 1739-1776” (2017) (College of Arts and Humanities Distinguished Thesis)

Shawn Hale, “Butchered Bones, Carved Stones: Hunting and Social Change in Late Saxon England” (2016)

Alyssa Peterson, “’We live in the midst of death’: Medical Theory, Public Health, and the 1793 Yellow Fever Epidemic” (2016) (College of Arts and Humanities Distinguished Thesis)

III. Non-Thesis Track

(32 semester hours)

HISTORY (M.A. without thesis)

Approved History courses numbered 4750 or above* . . . . . . .23 s.h.
HIS 5000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .3 s.h.

Two of HIS 5800, HIS 5810, or HIS 5820 …………………..6 s.h.
TOTAL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 s.h.

Students complete at least 18 semester hours (including HIS 5950) in their major field of concentration (US, Modern World, or Premodern World) including the corresponding proseminar (HIS 5800, HIS 5810, or HIS 5820), and 9 semester hours in one of the other fields including the corresponding proseminar (HIS 5800, HIS 5810, or HIS 5820)
*No more than 9 s.h. in courses numbered 4750-4999 may be applied to the degree. If a student can demonstrate that graduate courses in other disciplines are necessary to his or her goals, the Coordinator may approve a limited number of hours outside of History.

IV. Study Plan and Bibliography

During the first semester of course work, the student chooses a history professor to mentor the student's progress in his or her intended concentration. The student should meet with the mentor (as well as the graduate coordinator) from time to time to monitor progress towards exams.

A formal study plan should be approved by the department graduate coordinator and filed in the Graduate School, at the beginning of the last semester in which the student is enrolled in courses counting toward the graduate degree.

The student must also contact professors who agree to serve as exam committee members based on the student's concentration at that time. Also in their last semester, all students prepare a bibliography of all works read during their graduate studies, which becomes the basis for their written and oral exams.

V. Examinations

All candidates must pass written comprehensive examinations in the student's concentration and an oral comprehensive examination in both concentration and minor field upon completion of all course work, and submit a graded and revised research paper and a bibliography of works read during their graduate studies. Candidates should consult the Comprehensive Examination Checklist before starting the process. Students are required to participate in the Comprehensive Examination Workshop no later than the semester before they intend to take their exams. They must also take their writtens on one of the four annual written exam periods, held on the 3rd and 13th Friday of every Fall and Spring semester. It is the responsibility of the student to collaborate with their committee members to set a date for the oral examination.

One of these examiners shall be considered the student's chief examiner and shall also chair the oral examination. The two additional members of the oral examination committee shall represent the other part of the major and the minor areas of concentration.

The written comprehensive exam shall consist of answering four broad area questions and should be taken during the term in which course work is completed. The exam will be graded pass/fail by two examiners within the department who specialize in the principal area of concentration.

The oral examination lasts approximately an hour and can be taken only after the successful completion of the written comprehensive and all required course work (except finals for that semester). If needed, there is a 60-day waiting period before a second exam may be taken.

NOTE: Students who receive a failing grade on either portion of the examination in three successive attempts forfeit the right to earn their degree.

Degree Requirements for the M.A. in History with the Online Option for Teachers

The History MA Online Option for Teachers offers a 32-hour online curriculum for advanced study of U.S. and World history from the ancient period through the modern periods. In addition to expanding knowledge of these fields, students engage the significant historiography as well as develop skills in research, writing, and historical thinking. The course of study includes an initial one-week, on-campus summer residency, followed by online seminars that are offered part-time to accommodate full-time teaching schedules. The degree can be completed in three years.  This option does not lead to teaching licensure.

Total Credit hours: 32

Degree requirements include those outlined for the master’s degree by the Graduate School.  Students must also complete the residential Summer Institute held on EIU’s campus, Historiography, three proseminars, and an independent study. Additionally, students must complete all elements of the capstone (HIS 5999) that constitute the final examination process and must submit their revised independent study research project in order to be awarded the certificate of comprehensive knowledge.

Required Courses

Total Credits hours: 17

  • HIS 5001 - Summer Institute in Graduate History Credits: 1
  • HIS 5000 - Historiography. Credits: 3
  • HIS 5800 - Proseminar in American History Credits: 3
  • HIS 5810 - Proseminar in Premodern History Credits: 3
  • HIS 5820 - Proseminar in Modern World History Credits: 3
  • HIS 59901 - Independent Study I Credits: 1 to 6
  • HIS 5999 - Capstone in Graduate History Credits: 1

Electives

Total Credit hours: 9
Students must also take one course in each area (premodern, modern, and U.S.)

plus

Total Credit Hours:6
Students may take two further courses in U.S. or World (non-U.S) history

Students may take no more than nine credit hours of courses numbered 4750-4999

 



Related Pages

Contact Information

History Department
Eastern Illinois University

600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3310

Lee Patterson, Graduate Coordinator

2572 - Coleman Hall
217-581-6372
lepatterson2@eiu.edu


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